Panhandling issue in Biloxi discussed at city council meeting
Biloxi residents filed into the city hall to discuss the loitering and panhandling issues the City of Biloxi is currently facing.
Many residents who expressed their concerns to the city council said they do not feel safe anymore and panhandling and loitering is hurting business along with tourism.
The council has proposed an ordinance that would put limitations on panhandling and require people to obtain a license. This proposed ordinance would prohibit panhandling near bus stops, public parks, vehicles, or ATMs, and near businesses that have posted no panhandling signs. It would also ban all panhandling from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Vincent Creel with the City of Biloxi Public Affairs said, “We are telling panhandlers that number one you need to get a license. B, you need to follow these steps whenever you’re going about your panhandling. You can’t block a sidewalk. You can’t follow a person. You can’t touch a person. You can’t yell obscenities at them. We don’t want our local residents or visitors to feel unsafe.”
Also discussed are plans to bring a business into the old Walmart at the intersection of Pass Road and Popp’s Ferry in West Biloxi. The city plans on working with Southern Mississippi Planning and Development where some of the sales tax revenue brought in by the new business will be returned to the developer.